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Chris Peters RSS Feed (Austin, Texas)
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The Second Coming of Steve Jobs
The Second Coming of Steve Jobs
by Alan Deutschman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.53
99 used & new from $0.01

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gossip, gossip, gossip!, May 15, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this book because it focused on the fascinating "lost weekend" of Steve Jobs, starting from his ejection from Apple in 1985 to his return 11 years later. While I devoured the book quickly, the entire work has a stench about it - it reeks of a rushed, vindictive flame job. The book falls apart completely at the end, the author rushes so badly. Almost all sources are individuals thrown out of the Kingdom of Steve (people who have failed him in some way or another) with hardly any input from current Apple directors and executives who have worked successfully with Jobs for decades. By the end I found myself questioning every conclusion the author reaches (which was easy considering he predicted defeat and disgrace that never happened) and wondering to myself, "What's the point?" The general tone is that the author doesn't like Jobs but he also doesn't "get" the man either, and neither do many of the author's sources. One former executive of Applecare described Jobs complaining about tech support at Apple as being a bunch of clueless idiots (at which point the executive is removed from the company) and I thought to myself, tech support at most companies are the rudest people I've ever talked to, yet Apple has ranked #1 in that area for 10 years? Maybe Jobs understands something this author doesn't.


Rock Band Bass Pedal Repair - Pedal Metal Billet with Hinge - FACTORY BLEMISHED - PLEASE READ PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Rock Band Bass Pedal Repair - Pedal Metal Billet with Hinge - FACTORY BLEMISHED - PLEASE READ PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, April 2, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I actually bought 2 of these, for the 2 sets we have at the house. This makes the stock pedal very very tough. I tend to stomp on my pedal with all my might (and broke 2 pedals so far) and this kit keeps on ticking.

The weird thing is that the hinge kit uses a piece of plexiglas to replace the actual hinge pin, and was very scary for me to install. I'm happy to report that it works great. My only complaints are that I didn't receive all the screws in one kit :-( and the hinge itself tends to "float" slightly. It's not a big deal.


Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow - Xbox
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow - Xbox
Offered by The Retro Spot
Price: $19.49
264 used & new from $0.01

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Stealth Game EVER??, March 29, 2004
Now -this- is a game that can give Metal Gear Solid a run for its money. Both of Pandora Tomorrow's single or multiplayer modes are amazing by themselves, and taken together this game is one of the best -ever- in this generation, on any console. Stop reading and buy it!
SINGLE PLAYER:
The cutscenes are better than Rainbow Six 3, and the missions are SOOOO cool. Wait until you see Sam crawling under a train going 120 mph, or infiltrate a guerrilla camp in the jungle during broad daylight. There aren't any generic alleys like in the first game, ALL of the missions take place in exotic locations like Jerusalem or Indonesia. The plot has some cool twists that I won't give away, but they even managed to work the multiplayer mode into the plot. Graphics are such a huge improvement, the whole games looks like some high-budget James Bond movie. The production values are astronomical. Other observations:
-Controls are tigher, gadgets are easier to access when you need them.
-You actually have a use for Sam's cool acrobatic moves in this game.
-Plenty of ways to approach any situation. Nothing is linear, play the way you want.
-Lighting is more useful, you can visual tell what places will or won't hide you.
-A quick flash of the stealth meter tells you if a body is in a good hiding spot.
MULTIPLAYER:
One-of-a-Kind. Four players max. Spies vs. Mercenaries, each team has radically different strengths & weaknesses that play off each other very well. Mercs can use the inplace security systems and set their own traps, plus they are armed to the teeth, but they are blind compared to the spies; Spies hide in the ceilings and air ducts, places the mercs can't go, and have lots of diversion gear from the single player game, but they are physically weak. The emphasis is on stealth and outwitting your opponent, not action. There are lots of environmental details you can use to your advantage. Some other observations:
-Two-on-a-team makes for very close, intense teamwork. Best game to make friends with.
-Spies play in 3rd-person, Mercs in 1st person. It's not a gimmick, it's an inspiration, and it works perfectly.
-Huge maps give you that scary "somethings out there" feeling, a la "Predator"

-Lots of variety on each map because they are so large and complex.
-You need 1 game/Xbox/TV per player. No split screen.


No Title Available

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Magazine for -Any- Video Game System, February 24, 2004
I love the writing in this magazine! I can't get enough of it - XBN approaches their choosen system with a great attitude - just because a game is the best on the Xbox doesn't mean it's any good. Gamers are savvy, they probably have more than one console, and they want to know what the best games are for any system, not have read a magazine that pretend they exist in a vacuum. XBN executes this philosophy with gusto, and that makes it the best magazine for *any* system out there, including the "other" guys.
Compare XBN to the "Offical" Xbox Magazine, and there is no contest - XBN wins in every category. XBN gives you more facts about games, and they answer the questions I'm always thinking of. They don't fluff 3 paragraphs into 3 pages, they write only what they need to and fill the extra space with screenshots. They review the smaller and mediocore games, which always reminds me that my Xbox world isn't as small as I sometimes think it is. Their "Interest" articles are cool and fun to read. Their screenshots are mostly interesting, as is their layout. In every way XBN beats OXM, except for one thing - no demo disk. But the demo disks are hit and miss, and you ony get the cool plastic covers if you buy a newstand copy of OXM. My recommendation: Get an XBN subscription, and buy OXM on the newstand when the demo disk excites you.


Official Xbox Magazine [with DVD] (1-year)
Official Xbox Magazine [with DVD] (1-year)

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lame Magazine without the Disc, February 24, 2004
I can't say I really like OXM or look forward to it's arrival every month. The writing is rather bland and boring, despite their attempts at humor. (Editor-in-Chief is Mike Salmon, former editor of the late great PCXL magazine, but his insanity has been tamed for this mass-marget publication.) I like reading trying to pick out the actual facts from the fluff in their previews - it's pretty thin! You'll find juicy info on Microsoft games and close allies like Ubisoft, but otherwise there's not much goodness here. The screenshots are usually so-so and low in number, and the copy is printed in such large size I feel like I'm reading a kid's book. The magazine is thin enough as it is.
The demo disk is the main draw of the magazine, and since the Xbox still isn't as big as PS2, there are a few months when the demos are rather sparce. To be fair, though, sometimes the offical PS magazine has a lame demo disk, too. They make good use of the Xbox hard drive, though, with plenty of great downloads each month - maps, missions, uber-saves, cheats, etc. One major rip-off is that they don't give subscribers the plastic thinpack DVD covers, but instead a boring old cardboard cover. You have to pay $20 extra to get the plastic covers, driving the cost to almost $40! Don't get this mag without the demo disk. Check out XBox Nation instead.


It's All True [VHS]
It's All True [VHS]
VHS
Offered by mistermusic4
Price: $4.85
8 used & new from $0.37

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost Piece of Welles Brilliance, February 24, 2004
This review is from: It's All True [VHS] (VHS Tape)
"It's All True" often receives minor attention in most histories of Orson Welles, probably because nobody had ever seen it. While Welles was in South America filming this documentary, RKO Pictures was busy destroying The Magnificant Ambersons, which had the signs of becoming greater than even Citizen Kane. This video (a documentary about the documentary) reminded me that "It's All True" had the possiblity of being greater still. Welles established a true contection with the people of South America, and to hear their love and admiration for this foriegn filmmaker only reinforces the tragedy of Welles' career. The film would probably have become a national treasure in Brazil, had Welles been allowed to finish it.
Aside from various clips of no particular order, there exists an entire sequence from the original, telling the story of an epic journey of 4 fisherman traveling half-way around the continent in a simple boat. The sequence lacks a soundtrack, and thus is missing the punch of other good Welles material. Orson always used audio with equal mastery as his visual style, and in this sequence you can see just how rough one was without the other. Still worth of a purchase.


Microsoft Xbox Xbox Live Kit 3
Microsoft Xbox Xbox Live Kit 3

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is only 70 Bucks?!? Worth twice that., February 16, 2004
I thought, No way Live is worth the money they're asking. There's nothing really *new* here, you've seen it all on the PC before, which might make you think Live is boring and overpriced. But like a TiVo or iPod, Live manages to do everything better, easier, more accessable. Live has a community, a huge mass that's always there to play some form of game exactly the way you want to. The ways to make friends and get together are plain smart, and as you spend more time on Live, your benefits will far outway the money you've spent.
Many things gel in Live that have never really clicked on the PC or PS2, like leader boards or voice communications. There is some amazing new stuff about to come out that no one has ever seen before- check out a preview of Halo 2 or Splinter Cell 2's multiplayer mode if you want to get really excited. Sports games especially benefit from Live, with leagues and tournaments and champions and all that. Microsoft's XSN network allowing you to play full seasons like they were fantasy leagues. Only problem is, XSN games suck! I can only hope Sega and EA catch up with MS online.
Voice communications is the bomb, a stroke of genius that makes Live unique. Every one has a headset, so everyone uses it. It doesn't lag the games, players generally don't abuse it, and games use it in cool ways, like Rainbow Six 3's voice recognition to command your AI teammates. The headset actually looks cool and is comfortable during long sessions.
Cheating is non-existent. If it exists, I can't find it, compared to the PC where I can't escape it. You also don't have the unfortunate PC side-effect of the people with the fastest connections and most expensive machines also getting an advantage in online play. On Live everyone starts equally, and skill is the only thing that sets you apart. I don't like how no Live game yet is open to the mountain of free maps you can find on the PC. Still, you don't get the hassle of downloading every patch and tweeking your system for hours just so you can get on to play, but I think it's worth it to experience the endless new material that only PC gamers have. Another bonus, modem players are not allowed, thankfully, because they slow *everybody* down, not just themselves.
MechAssault is also included with this package, which I think is a stroke of genius, because not only is it totally fun, but you can go online with a buddy. You don't need a 2nd account or a 2nd copy of the game. It's one of the few games that can do that, and it makes a world of difference.
If you have broadband, and you have an Xbox, you MUST get Live. The package is worth about $110 if you buy everything on its own.


Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved
Offered by MediaNett
Price: $49.35
436 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe it, Halo is an All-Time Classic, February 15, 2004
This review is from: Halo: Combat Evolved (Video Game)
There are only 2 great console first-person shooters, Goldeneye 64, and Halo. Before I bought Halo, I couldn't see what the big fuss is about, but now I do - Halo is the Real Deal, a true Classic that you will play endlessly and fondly remember years from now. With a huge and engaging single-player mode, a worthwhile co-op mode, 16 player multiplay that's as effortless as plugging a cord, great graphics and controls that fit like a glove, Halo holds its own against any FPS game on the PC.
The essense of Halo is playing with other people. Even in the first stages of the single player game, you are fighting alongside your fellow shipmates and marines. Your buddies call out to each other and cover one another, and so do the bad guys. It's cool to jump into a jeep or tank and see friends climb into the turrets and hang on the sides, turning the vehicle into a moble fortress. At the times when you truly go solo, like infiltration missions or whatnot, you really do feel alone, sometimes like you're a one-man army and sometimes like the entire world is falling apart on top of your head.
The story and the setting are very cool - you crash land on a giant ring-world of an ancient dead civilization, with structures and settings that are absolutely enormous, sometimes miles across. I liked the ramp-up in difficulty, moving from large coordinated attacks to one-man army raids and on to thrilling moments when all you can do is clear a path to run through, because you're scared to death of what's behind you. My only complaint is that some locations are recycled too often, and it seems that I revisited everything twice.
Co-op is wonderful! Somehow Microsoft made it seem as if they customized the game for co-op mode, without losing anything by playing in single-player mode. Most FPS co-op is frustrating, as you struggle against enemies and situations designed for 1 person, not 2. The maps are usually too small, and the enemies and weapons are too few. Since Halo already has other good guys fighting in the game, the 2nd player is really just adding some intelligence to one of your buddies. It's so much fun I finished the game with a friend before I ever played it alone.
Once you're bored with the story, you'll find some of the best multiplay modes I've ever seen. You can connect 4 Xboxes with 4 players each, for 16 player mayhem. The setup is effortless (it uses 10/100 ethernet cords and hubs, the same as your computer). Game types include deathmatch and team deathmatch, capture the flag, hot bag, king of the hill, assault, racing and rally, and on and on. Plenty of custom options, like unlimited grenades and all-player invisiblity keep things constantly changing. One complaint about multiplayer (my 2nd and last complaint about hte entire game) is that there aren't enough maps to play on, and most of those maps are of the boxed-in maze type.
If you own an Xbox, You should own this game.


Counter-Strike - Xbox
Counter-Strike - Xbox
Offered by SHARPEY MEDIA
Price: $24.41
189 used & new from $0.01

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Game, highly addictive, wonderful port, February 8, 2004
This review is from: Counter-Strike - Xbox (Video Game)
I was blown away that Counter-Strike for the Xbox is just as fun and playable as it's PC cousin. There are some cons that will keep PC snobs away, but there are some serious benefits, lots of them. Newcomers should definitely check this game out, CS is the most popular online action game for 3 years straight because it is superbly balanced and highly addictive fun, faster than Rainbow Six but not out-of-control like Unreal Championship, CS actually rewards teamwork in lots of subtle ways. However, I will warn you - don't expect to see the magic until you've been playing on Live for a day or two. You NEED Live to get anything out of this game.
The most important thing- Microsoft nailed the controls exactly right. It feels totally natural and fits perfectly with the needs of this game. I never once felt frustrated with the controls or felt like I was "losing" something from the console port, if you know what I mean. Sometimes the control limitations of console ports total change the way you play the game, but not in this case. Bravo. Other "cons" of not playing on a PC actually serve to equal the playing field for everyone. The low resolution might give many PC players a headache, but it gives scopes an actual purpose now. On the PC I had my resolution cranked so high I never used a scope. The controls mean that no one can whip 180 degrees and get a head shot on you in 1/10th of a second, something I've seen many many times before. Protecting your flanks is more important. The only thing I really miss is being able to play any map I want, especially some of the older favorites like Assault. The game does comes with 20 maps, though, 2 unlockable with Live, including the awesome "Office".

Second, the bots are amazing, probably the best bots I've ever seen in any game. Most of the time I can't even tell it's not a human being playing. They work as a team, use effective strategy for each map, and react realistically to the changes that swing thru each round. They really capture all the strange quirks you see human players do (you spend a lot of time watching other ppl play CS, but don't worry, it's fun) They are awesome for practice, but not much else. They are still bots, they tend to be very single-minded. You aren't going to formulate some crazy strategy with them or laugh about a wild kill.
Single player options are so sparse the developers seem kinda lazy. They made incredible bots but no kind of story or even a ladder to motivate new players, just endless practice matches. These are fun but rather limiting. Customization is lacking too- you can't do simple things like change bot names or have teams with different numbers of bots, like 4 against 6. Big letdown here. System Link forces you to have a separate disk/Xbox/TV per player. There is no spilt-screen of any kind, another huge disappointment. This game is beginning for Halo-like multiplay, but Live is the only practical option. Live rocks though. You won't find the rampant cheating that you see in the PC community, and almost everyone has headsets, very helpful in a game that requires so much teamwork. The community is still pretty big and seems very dedicated. I don't think it will drop off anytime soon. So in the end, CS is a very focused game that does a few things very well, and I recommend hardcore gamers give it a go.


Beyond Good & Evil
Beyond Good & Evil
Offered by NEWPORT555
Price: $27.95
83 used & new from $3.44

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Game! Fun, beautiful, mature, the complete package., January 13, 2004
This review is from: Beyond Good & Evil (Video Game)
Too bad this game isn't selling millions, because it's a great game. Oh well, UBI Soft's loss is our gain. Just check out that price!
Made by the creators of Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil features the same quirky style but aimed at old audiences. You play Jade, a photographer living on a planet under attack from aliens. She suspects the military is conspiring with the aliens instead of protecting everyone, and joins an underground newspaper to find out the truth. I liked the above-average maturity of this games themes of family, love, and loss during a war.
Gameplay is fun, if not a little generic, but the overall package is wonderful. Jade's main purpose is to sneak through military bases and take pictures to expose the conspiracy. As a side-quest, she also collects pictures of animals throughout the world. Jade fights with a staff and plastic disks, fun but utterly forgetable. The hovercraft, however, is insane fun, a racing engine where you feel out of control even when you aren't, and the developers wisely made the hovercraft about 50% of the whole game.
It has a very parent-friendly shine that tones down the violence, which is probably the reason it didn't sell well - the gloss robs the game of some personality. The main character fights will a staff and plastic disks instead of guns and bombs. Funny thing is, the end result is the same, the bad guys are killed violently, so what have we really gained from this approach? It's mostly not important, but this game has a slight "preaching" tone, so you will probably think about it at some point while playing.
There is a ton of personality in this game, little details, mini-games, story moments, but the game is very short, about 10 hours long. Yet overall, you can ignore that, and the game is well worth it's current price.


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